4 Significant Ways Solar Power Can Benefit You

Solar energy is generated when UV rays strike solar panels, turning solar power into electricity. Solar panels produce the most electricity on days with clear skies and plentiful sunshine. But they also work on cloudy days since UV light also reaches the earth’s surface even when it’s cloudy. Typical solar panels can generate anything between 10-25% of their estimated capacity. The amount may vary depending on the type of solar panel and cloud coverage. Modern PV systems tend to function better in cooler temperatures.

One of the biggest benefits is that solar power is free, and thanks to technological advancements, we can use this source of energy that is available to us continuously. Below are four other advantages of Solar Power:

Solar power assists in slowing down global warming

It is no secret that global warming poses a significant threat to the survival of humanity. With decades of research, however, scientists have found alternative solutions to create electricity without producing pollution. And solar power has become the most important solution to combat global warming.

Solar power provides reliable energy generation

There is nothing as consistent as the rising and the setting of the sun. Everyone everywhere is conscious of when it will rise and set every day. While cloudiness might be a little less predictable, there are relatively accurate seasonal and daily forecasts available for the amount of sunlight expected in different locations. Thus, solar power is a notably reliable energy source.

Solar Power add value to your home

By installing solar panels, you can obtain pure energy from the sun while reducing dependence on fossil fuels. This will lower if not eliminate electricity bills. According to statistics, homes with solar systems sell for more. The upfront investment is almost equal to the increase in price when selling your home.

Solar power ensures a better tomorrow

Already the costs of solar power will become lower than transmitting energy from traditional power sources. It will make more financial sense to build solar storage facilities everywhere electricity is needed while swiftly eliminating the need for fossil fuel.

If you want to have access to a reliable energy source, save money or reduce your electric-power carbon footprint, speak to a professional solar installer in your area.

How to Choose a Reliable Solar Company

Selecting a good solar company will mean the difference between a smooth, simple installation or years and years of problems and feeling like you want to pull your hair out every time you need to get in touch with your installer.

Transparency is key. A great solar company will educate you on all the options available to you and not just the most expensive ones. The installation team should give you a rundown once the installation is completed. They should explain to you how the solar inverter operates and also what kind of power generation you can expect. Use a solar company that won’t just disappear after the installation is done. If you’ve been thinking about switching to solar, now is the time!

5 Things to Consider Before Renovating Your Kitchen (And Mistakes to Avoid)

Kitchen renovations don’t have to be stressful and expensive. If you hire a professional kitchen designer to manage your project, it won’t be either. Your dream kitchen is more attainable than you might think. Witnessing the transformation of your kitchen from outdated to stylish over a short period is a process with virtually no comparison. But, before you kick off your renovations, consider this:

It Is an Investment Worth Making

If there’s one thing that adds value to your property, it’s an updated kitchen. In fact, according to the experts, you can expect a 65% return on investment with a kitchen remodel.

You Don’t Have to Revamp Your Entire Kitchen

If you need to renovate your kitchen on a tight budget, rest assured, there are some ways to cut the costs. First off, you don’t have to rip out your whole kitchen to make an impact. Start by replacing the most outdated components of your kitchen.

It’s Essential to Use High-Quality Materials

The quality of materials differentiates a good kitchen from a great kitchen. Quality materials will also last longer. So, while it might cost more now, it will save you money in the long run.

Don’t Take Shortcuts

Tight budget or not, never overlook electric or plumbing lines for functionality. Painting over problems or hiding damaged areas overrun with mould will compromise your home’s structure and even your health.

Hire Professional Kitchen Installers

While it might be more affordable to manage the project yourself, it can cost you more in the long run. To reduce the risk of not being satisfied with the outcome, why not consider hiring professionals for your kitchen renovation project.

Common Mistakes to Avoid During Your Kitchen Renovation

Every homeowner dreams of a kitchen that’s stylish, modern, fully equipped and functional. But more often than not, they have to settle for a kitchen that is nothing like they had hoped for. Renovating your kitchen can help you to achieve this goal.

Kitchen renovations can be a challenge considering all the variables they come along with. You will have to make a lot of decisions, and sometimes you will end up making the wrong ones because of feeling overwhelmed. To be honest, expecting any kitchen renovation project to progress without hitting a few bumps in the road might be a little naive. By avoiding the following mistakes, you can make the process go smoother.

Choosing Appearance over Functionality

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a beautiful kitchen with lots of bells and whistles, but does it make sense from a functional point of view? To get the most value out of your kitchen renovation, you’ll want it to be as functional as it is beautiful. Balance is key. Shiney countertops won’t mean a thing if they aren’t durable or show every little scratch.

Not Choosing a Timeless Design

A modern kitchen might be cool, but there are some design trends you might want to bypass to retain your property’s resale value. If you’re planning to sell your home in future, stick with a neutral, classic kitchen design.

German Cockroach 101: Interesting Facts You Need to Know

The German cockroach is one of South Africa’s most popular cockroach types. These little critters will devour anything from books and plastic to even leather. They also reproduce extremely fast and yield close to 10 000 offspring annually, making infestations a common occurrence, especially during summer months.

German Cockroaches are typically 12 – 15mm in length, have two dark stripes on their backs and are infamous for their global distribution.

If there’s one thing the German cockroach loves, it’s a hot, humid environment like kitchens. While German cockroaches have wings, they rarely fly. Being mostly active when the sun goes down, you’ll never know you have an infestation unless you know the danger signs. One such sign would be to see cockroaches scrambling whenever you put the light on. Again, if you aren’t attentive, you might miss them. Below are some interesting facts about German cockroaches.

  • German cockroaches have incomplete metamorphosis. It means that instead of four distinct stages, they have only three.
  • German cockroaches can carry various types of diseases like salmonella and E. coli.
  • One German cockroach ootheca (aka egg case) contains at least 35 eggs which will take one month to hatch.
  • The female cockroach will hold onto the ootheca and release it right before it’s time for it to hatch.
  • It can take anything from 6 weeks to 6 months for a German cockroach to reach maturity.
  • Cockroaches, in general, prefer to live where the temperatures and humidity are high.
  • German cockroaches have sticky pads on their feet called an arolium, which they use to climb on smooth surfaces.

It’s a known fact that personal hygiene isn’t exactly high on the priority list of German cockroaches. They might seem harmless, but they are filthy creatures who carry diseases. According to research, cockroach droppings can cause or worsen eczema and asthma. Ignoring a cockroach infestation might not be the best idea!

Other Types Of Cockroaches

  • Americal Cockroaches are 35 to 40mm in length, shining red-brown and can run and fly.
  • Oriental Cockroaches are 20 to 25mm in length and are dark brown or black.

Do cockroaches bite humans?

Since cockroaches are omnivorous, they eat just about anything. While they rarely become aggressive enough to bite and attack humans, they carry diseases that may cause health problems.

Do cockroaches fly?

While some cockroach species may have wings, most of them don’t fly.

Does a cockroach infestation mean my home or office is dirty?

A cockroach infestation doesn’t necessarily indicate a filthy house. Even if you clean your home daily, leaving food or water out in the open will attract pests.

Why do cockroaches come out at night?

Cockroaches are nocturnal. They are mostly inactive during the day and search for food at night. With a cockroach infestation, you’ll notice them scattering when you turn the light on.

Getting rid of a cockroach infestation can be a challenge. You might need pest control experts to eradicate them quickly and for good.

Looking for an Affordable Winter Getaway? Why You Should Go to Clarens

Are you planning a winter getaway but worry that you might not be able to afford it? It’s a valid concern. Accommodation can be expensive, which means one of two things:

  • You won’t be able to afford that weekend getaway or
  • You won’t have money left for fun activities.

Most people are pinching pennies lately, and holidays typically move to the bottom of the list. But time off and time spent with the people you love, doing what you love should be a priority! That’s why many guesthouses offer accommodation specials this time of year. They understand that times are tough, but good memories are necessary to get you through those tough times.

There are so many different types of accommodation available all over South Africa to suit individual needs. Self-catering or non-self-catering – whatever you need, you got it. The key is to find accommodation that is centrally located. This way, you can easily reach restaurants, pubs, shops or attractions with easy access to nature for hiking and biking.

Why Clarens Is an Excellent Option for a Winter Getaway

Clarens is ideal for people who love spending time outdoors. Activities include hiking, biking, hot air ballooning, white river rafting, horse riding and much more. You can also visit Clarens Brewery to taste some of the best craft beers in the country. If you are looking for a majestic view, visit the Golden Gate National Park, where you’ll be surrounded by awe-inspiring nature.

More Reasons to Visit Clarens

If you’ve never heard of Clarens, you’re in for a surprise of a lifetime. Also known as the Jewel of the Free State, this little town is located in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains.

Nature Lover’s Paradise

As we’ve mentioned before, outdoor lovers will appreciate Clarens and surrounding areas. Hiking, biking, horse riding, white river rafting, hot air balloon rides — you can do it all in Clarens! Just 17 km from Clarens, you will find Golden Gate National Park. Talk about unspoiled beauty!

Easily Accessible

Clarens is approximately 400 km from Durban, 300 km from Johannesburg and 200 km from Bloemfontein. You can also drive the 126km to Afriski resort in Lesotho if skiing is on your bucket list.

World Class Beer

In Clarens, you will find a world-renowned craft beer brewery called Clarens Brewery. This activity is not to be missed if you are a beer lover. The team at Clarens Brewery is passionate about producing top-quality beer. They eat, sleep and talk brew 24/7, and their love of beer inspires them to create new products regularly.

Affordable Accommodation

Finding affordable accommodation in Clarens is easy. There are so many award-winning options to choose from when looking for Clarens accommodation. It will all depend on the type of place you envision for your trip, your budget and availability, of course.

If the events of the past 18 months are getting you down, it’s time to go somewhere and do something fun. You deserve it!

Custom vs Ready-Made Curtains: How to Choose the Right Type for You

Are you looking for curtains or blinds for your home? With so many options available, it can be challenging to choose the perfect window dressing that will tick all your boxes and work best for your unique space. Do you want custom curtains, or will ready-made curtains suffice?

If you’re looking for an instant solution, ready-made curtains may be a good option. Browsing what’s already available in stores or online is quick and easy. Custom or tailored curtains take longer but offer more versatility. You can be specific about every little detail. Below are the pros and cons of both ready-made and custom curtains.

Ready-Made Curtains

Pros

  • Ready-made curtains are economical and budget-friendly.
  • You can choose from various colours and designs, and all it demands is a trip to the mall or browsing online.
  • They offer quick delivery and turnaround time for anyone that’s in a hurry.

Cons

  • Ready-made curtains might not look as good in person as they did on the package, but you won’t know until you remove them.
  • It can be a challenge to find something that compliments your interior design and your taste.
  • Ready-made curtains may not fit your windows since they come in standard sizes.

 

Custom Made Curtains

 

Pros

  • When it comes to colour, design, size and material, the sky’s the limit.
  • Your custom curtains will be unique and compliment your decor.
  • Your curtains will fit perfectly.

 

Cons

  • Custom made curtains may cost more, but you get exactly what you want.
  • They are made from scratch, so you might have to wait a little longer.

Both custom and ready-made curtains are great options if you want to make a style statement in your home. Below are more things to consider when purchasing curtains for your home.

 

Choosing the Perfect Curtains for Your Home

Curtains play an essential part in a room’s character and mood. If not done properly, it can cause the design to feel off. The following aspects need to be considered: the type of material, colour, thickness, as well as, curtain length. Save yourself the money and effort by educating yourself before you buy curtains. To make curtain shopping easier, follow this guide:

Purpose

For privacy in bedrooms, curtains should be manufactured from thick or block out material, whereas a dining room that leads onto a patio will only require curtains for lighting purposes. Heavy material will give a formal and dramatic effect, whereas lighter materials will offer a more light and sunny effect.

Colour

It’s better to choose natural tones if your room receives a lot of natural light. Bright colours will fade quickly because the sun isn’t very forgiving. Light curtains will open up a dark room.

Fit

Taking the proper measurements of your windows are critical in ensuring they fit perfectly. Measure the height from the floor to the rail, and remember to keep in mind the size of the hanging hardware.

How You Can Help Save the Environment by Installing Solar Panels

For many years scientists have been warning us about global warming. While many people think global warming is a myth, there are many who grasp the seriousness of it. It is essential that we try to do the best we can to reduce our carbon footprint even if others don’t. If you are serious about protecting our planet, then you’ll know the importance of solar energy and what difference it can make. If you don’t, then let me explain:

Global warming aka climate change suggests the increase in global temperatures due to the emissions of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide being trapped in the earth’s atmosphere. As the radiation from the sun bounces back, it can’t get past the air pollutants, thus heating the planet. In the last fifty years, the average global temperature has risen faster than it ever has. 

What can you do to help?

When you install solar panels in your home or business, you can reduce your dependence on fossil fuels by using renewable, clean energy instead. This will decrease the emission of greenhouse gas significantly, thus helping save our beautiful planet.

What’s the lifespan of solar panels?

If you install quality products, you can expect at least 30 years of clean energy. That doesn’t mean that it will stop working after you’ve reached three decades. It does, however, mean that your solar panels might lose some efficiency over the years, but the degradation rates aren’t extreme. According to a recent study by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), out of the 2000 solar panels, the majority of them were running at 88% of their original capacity after 25 years.

Can you Store Solar Energy?

The best way to store solar energy for use when the sun doesn’t shine or in the event of a power outage is by installing some kind of reserve like solar batteries. Many years ago, lead-acid batteries were the perfect solution for energy storage. But when lithium solar batteries came onto the scene, things changed.

Lithium is an extremely light metal with fantastic electrochemical potential. They also have a much higher life cycle than their counterparts when it comes to discharging applications. After charging and discharging lithium batteries thousands of times, it continues to be functional. You won’t have to replace them nearly as quickly as you would lead-acid batteries.

Do Your Part to Save Our Planet and Install Solar Panels

While you may have to invest some money now, most solar power systems will pay for themselves within a few years. And with the prospect of a lifespan of 30+ years, you can be sure to save a substantial amount of money on electricity. The benefits of installing solar panels far outweigh the price you need to pay.

If you have been looking for ways to fight global warming, you can by installing solar panels. Using solar panels as your primary energy source will save you money and help you protect the environment.